Photograph Notes:
1 The decals on this model are from Eagle Editions
2 All images above are links to larger photos.  Click the image to view the larger photo.
3 There is a color shift in some of the photographs.  The wheel chocks and the tips of the propellor are not dayglow yellow, they are plain old standard yellow.

In military aviation there are few group insignias more well-known than the leering shark's grin of the famous Flying Tigers.  The P-40's that they flew are probably the most easily recognizable aircraft profiles in history.  But how many people actually know the history of the Flying Tigers?

The Flying Tigers were officially the First American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force.  Their unit was officially not an American unit, but a squadron of the air force of China.  It was also a very short-lived unit; their first combat was on December 20, 1941 and the unit was officially disbanded on July 4, 1942.  Less than 8 months in existence, and in that time this group of volunteers racked up a score of 299 Japanese planes destroyed with another 153 probably destroyed.  All of this with a loss of 12 P-40's in combat and 61 on the ground.

For more information about the Flying Tigers, their history and achievements, please visit the official Flying Tiger web site at www.flyingtigersavg.com.  The information provided there is well worth reading for anyone interested in military aviation history.

This model is of a Curtiss-Wright H81-A3 (P-40B) "Warhawk" (Tomahawk II to the RAF).  It originally had the tail number of P-8127, the manufacturer's serial number of 15494, and since it was initially destined for the Royal Air Force it had the RAF number of AK542.  It arrived in Rangoon, Burma in May of 1941.  The markings are those of aircraft number 47, Third Pursuit Squadron "Hells Angels", First American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers".  It was flown by Flight Leader John Petach, Flight Leader Robert Layher, and Flight Leader R.T. Smith (who also flew aircraft #77). It eventually crashed in China sometime between December, 1941 and July, 1942.  The engine from this aircraft is said to be on display at Torrence airport in California.

This model is Installment 1 of Airplanes With Teeth ...
Installment 1 Curtis-Wright P-40B Warhawk
Installment 2 Fairchild-Republic F-105G Thunderchief Wild Weasel
Installment 3 McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II
Installment 4 Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

 
CURTISS-WRIGHT P-40B TOMAHAWK

Quantity Built:241
Top Speed:352 mph
Cruise Speed:280 mph
Ceiling:32,400 ft
Rate of Climb:3,000 fpm
Range:730 to 1,230 mi
Armament:(4) .303 caliber and (2) .50 caliber machine guns
Engine:1,040 hp Allison V-1710-33
Empty Weight:5,590 pounds
Loaded Weight:7,600 pounds
Wing Span:37'-4"
Length:31'-9"
Height:12'-4"

ONLINE REFERENCES
Scratchbuilders P-40 B/C conversion Curtiss P-40 - Wikipedia Hill Field
Hill Aerospace Museum Allison V-1710 Engine Webshots Community - P-40 Warhawk #1
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk series Trumpeter P-40B Trumpeter Curtiss P-40B Review
P-40 Warhawk .Com R.T. Smith AVG - The Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers Official Site Flying Tigers P-40 Tomahawk manual Flying Tigers: Curtiss H81-A3 aircraft



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